About Us

Who we are

AACA is the national voice for architect registration boards around Australia. AACA owns the National Standard of Competency for Architects. The National Standard underpins all assessment processes including the accreditation of architecture programs leading to registration as an architect in Australia.

Set up as a not-for-profit organisation, we were established in the 1970s in response to the need for a nationally consistent approach to eligibility for registration and the recognition of overseas qualifications in architecture.

We are building our capacity as the key source of information about the architecture profession in Australian and how it compares with architectural education and regulation around the world.

What we do

Locally we:

  • consult with key organisations to develop, maintain and promote the National Standard of Competency for Architects
  • develop and provide competency-based assessment programs to determine eligibility for registration as an architect in Australia
  • administer the Architecture Accreditation Procedure in Australia and New Zealand on behalf of the architect registration boards.

Internationally we:

  • Facilitate international mutual recognition agreements in regard to architectural education and registration as an architect in Australia
  • Assess overseas qualifications for architects seeking to register as an architect in Australia
  • Provide accurate data on the profession of architecture in Australia and overseas

Who we work with

AACA operates as the gatekeeper of threshold standards for eligibility to practice as an architect in Australia. We work with:

  • State & Territory Architects Registration Boards
  • Australian Institute of Architects
  • Associations of Consulting Architects in Australia
  • Australian Schools of Architecture
  • Commonwealth Government Departments of Education and Immigration and Border Control

Collaboration with Architect Registration Boards

Each of the Nominating Bodies (architect registration boards) is an independent statutory authority and is responsible for administering the Architects Act in its jurisdiction. The Boards and the AACA work in collaboration on matters of national interest to the profession, industry and the public.



Catherine Townsend, President

Catherine Townsend is ACT Government Architect and Director of Townsend + Associates Architects. Catherine provides strategic advice to government informed by concurrent professional practice and years of representational roles in the built environment.



Dr Deborah Dearing

Deborah has over 30 years of international experience in architecture, urban design, strategic land-use planning, heritage conservation, affordable housing and property development in both public and private sectors. She is a District Commissioner on the Greater Sydney Commission, a member of the NSW Heritage Council and President of the NSW Architects Registration Board. Deborah has received numerous prestigious awards, including Life Fellowship of the Australian Institute of Architects for service to architecture and urban design.



Professor Kirsten Orr

Kirsten is Registrar of the NSW Architects Registration Board. She was previously Professor of Architecture and Dean of School in the School of Technology, Environments & Design at the University of Tasmania. She is a registered architect (non-practising) in NSW. Integrating her deep knowledge of professional issues with her significant academic background, Kirsten has made leadership contributions to all of the major Australian government and professional bodies regulating the practice of architecture, education of architecture students and accreditation of Australian architecture programs.




Adam Toma

Adam is an experienced public sector senior executive having held a number of high profile roles in both state and federal governments. He has extensive experience in the delivery of regulatory services and especially in the creation and implementation of  risk-based, evidence-led regulatory frameworks. Adam holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce and is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Registrar of the Architects Registration Board of Victoria.



Paul Boyce

Paul is a practising architect and has been a registered since 1989. As a director of Tridente Architects, he provides the necessary balance between design, service, quality, and compliance.

Paul’s focus is on architectural excellence. He has taught at both schools of Architecture in South Australia and is a mentor to students of architecture, recent graduates, and his peers. He is actively involved in the architectural registration process and architectural education, whilst championing good design and exemplary service.

Paul is the Presiding Member the APBSA and the Examination Convenor in South Australia.




 Kate Doyle

Kate has extensive experience and program development in education, competency based assessment and professional regulation contexts. Kate has over 12 years’ experience in the architectural sector; and previously held the role of Registrar at the NSW Architects Registration Board.





Architects Accreditation Council of Australia
Suite 3, Level 5
75 Castlereagh Street

PO Box A2575

(612) 8042 8930
[email protected]

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